A Recent Study Finds A Potential Treatment For Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), An Emerging Viral Infection

By Ellainie Calangian, Parent Herald February 22, 05:01 am

The researchers from University of Maryland School of Medicine have found a new medication of MERS, a respiratory disease. The study is issued in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Medical News Today reports that the scientists discovered the treatment which is an antibody that impedes the MERS virus. The antibody was emitted by cows that had been genetically adapted to simulate particular aspects of the immune system. The cows were given shots of MERS vaccine that produced the large quantity of anti-MERS bodies. The antibodies were then refined to yield the therapeutic claim that was tested in the MERS-infected mice.

"These results are very promising," Matthew B. Frieman, Ph.D., one of the researchers of the study and an Associate professor of Microbiology and Immunology at UMSOM said. "This is important not only because it gives us a potential way to attack MERS, but also because it provides evidence that using these transgenic cows can rapidly produce therapeutics."

The study was made in partnership with global health experts and scientific community such as SAB Biotherapeutics (SAB), University of Maryland School of Medicine, Naval Medical Research Center and Novavax.

"Through this collaborative team, we've brought together the top talent of the scientific community, global health experts and novel technologies to demonstrate the efficacy, safety and responsiveness of our human antibody therapeutic," Dr. Eddie Sullivan, Ph.D., President and CEO of SAB Biotherapeutics, Inc. said. "As we complete successful studies targeting various diseases, we're realizing the potentially broad application and significance of our platform in addressing these global health threats."

There was an epidemic of MERS last year in South Korea when a traveler returned from Saudi Arabia and then infected many people. There were over 30 people who were killed as caused by MERS across the country.

WebMD states that MERS was first discovered in the Middle East in 2012 and has spread in Asia. It is a deadly respiratory illness that is caused by a virus called coronavirus. It is also referred to as MERS-CoV. It is a cousin of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) with symptoms like cough, fever and shortness of breath. As of this writing, there is, unfortunately, no cure for this medical condition yet.

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